As we are slowly approaching the fourth “anniversary” of the 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea and the beginning of the Russian undeclared war on Ukraine it is a proper time to take a look at NATO on its road to the 2018 Brussels summit this July and put these developments in the context of the broader European defense landscape.
President Trump has so far exerted limited influence on NATO`s general course. At the 2017 Brussels mini-summit Trump spurred the Alliance to join the Global Coalition Against Daesh and later in November to follow suit after the US decided to increase the number of troops in the never-ending Afghanistan operation. However, the primary goal of the Alliance remains unchanged – continuation of structural adaptation to major conventional war.
Meanwhile the countries of the European Union are launching their fourth attempt at defense integration since the end of World War 2 in a latest effort to streamline resources and ultimately make the EU a regional military actor. Are these latest European activities an unnecessary duplication of energies and resources better managed through NATO that will ultimately speed up American disengagement from Europe or an empowerment of Europe both useful for NATO and strategically necessary for Europe in a post-Atlanticist world?
This policy paper aims to analyze this defense landscape conundrum and discern possible lessons and recommendations for the Czech defense policy.